The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice announced the winners of the 62nd Annual Obie Awards, which recognize the best in Off-Broadway theatre, May 24 at Webster Hall. Obie winner Lea DeLaria returned to host.
Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard’s Underground Railroad Game, produced by Ars Nova, and J.T. Roger’s Oslo, produced by Lincoln Center Theater, shared the Obie Awards for Best New American Theatre Work, which is accompanied by a $500 reward. Oslo, which recently transferred to Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater, also picked up an award for Best Ensemble—a prize that also honors its director, Bartlett Sher. As previously announced, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel received a special Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Presenters included Peter Barbey, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, Mike Faist, Edie Falco, Lena Hall, Jayne Houdyshell, David Henry Hwang, LaChanze, William Ivey Long, Taylor Mac, Jefferson Mays, Derek McLane, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Emilio Sosa, and several of this year’s Obie judges, including Darius de Haas, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and J. Smith-Cameron.
Performances were also given by Katrina Lenk, who sang “Omar Sharif” from The Band’s Visit;, Kecia Lewis, Austin Reed Alleman, Jessie Shelton, Storm Thomas, and William Youmans performing “There’s Only What I Know” from The Skin of Our Teeth, The Fantasticks’ Daniel Bellomy offering “Try to Remember” as part of the In Memoriam, and the finale “Let the Sunshine In,” honoring the 50th anniversary of Hair performed by DeLaria, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Lena Hall.
The complete list of Obie winners follows. The Obies allow multiple winners in each category:
Best New American Theatre Work ($500 prize each)
Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova)
J.T. Rogers, Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater)
Christopher Chen, Caught (The Play Company at La MaMa)
Lynn Nottage, Sweat (The Public Theater)
Itamar Moses (book) and David Yazbek (music & lyrics), The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Arin Arbus, The Skin of Our Teeth (Theatre for a New Audience)
Lileana Blain-Cruz, Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre Company)
David Cromer, The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Jack Cummings III, Picnic (Transport Group)
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent (Vineyard Theatre)
Bartlett Sher (director) and the cast of Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater)
Michael Aronov, Anthony Azizi, Adam Dannheisser, Jennifer Ehle, Daniel Jenkins, Dariush Kashani, Jeb Kreager, Jefferson Mays, Christopher McHale, Daniel Oreskes, Angela Pierce, Henny Russell, Joseph Siravo, T. Ryder Smith
Lila Neugebauer (director) and the cast of The Wolves (The Playwrights Realm)
Kate Arrington, Mia Barron, Brenna Coates, Jenna Dioguardi, Samia Finnerty, Midori Francis, Lizzy Jutila, Sarah Mezzanotte, Tedra Millan, Lauren Patten, Susannah Perkins
Matthew Broderick, Evening at the Talk House (The New Group) and Shining City (Irish Repertory Theatre)
Bobby Cannavale, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Kevin Geer, Sustained Excellence [in memoriam]
Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta (Atlantic Theater Company) and The Skin of Our Teeth (Theatre for a New Audience)
Heather MacRae, Come Back, Little Sheba (Transport Group)
Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Pete Simpson, Sustained Excellence
Michael Urie, Homos, or Everyone in America (Labyrinth Theater Company)
Riccardo Hernandez, Sustained Excellence of Set Design
Dane Laffrey, Sustained Excellence of Set and Costume Design
Jared Mezzocchi, Projection Design, Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Ryan Rumery, Sustained Excellence of Sound Design
Scott Zielinski, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design
Anna Deavere Smith, Notes from the Field (Second Stage Theater)
Taylor Mac, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
Obie Grants ($4,000 prize each)
Irish Repertory Theatre Pearl Theatre Company The Playwrights Realm
The Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)
Theatre for a New Audience
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Obie Award judges panel for this season included Village Voice columnist and longtime chair of the Obie judges Michael Feingold, Obie and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Entertainment Weekly theatre critic Melissa Rose Bernardo, Obie-winning actor-singer Darius de Haas, Village Voice theatre critic Miriam Felton-Dansky, Obie-winning actor Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Obie-winning actor J. Smith Cameron.
For more information, visit ObieAwards.com.